A critical analysis of the implementation and development of clinical supervision in the workplace, a professional and personal account

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Since the start of 21st century, the position and functions of school counsellors have changed noticeably (Schmidt, 1993). The focus of school counselling has shifted from vocational guidance to more emphasis on the use of clinical skills, including individual and group counselling. In a recent editorial in this journal, Sink (1999) noted, "In my view, counsellor educators are training nascent school counsellors less from a clinical framework" (p. ii). Consequently, a need for more effective supervision of school counsellors has been recognized. However, a majority of school counsellors do not receive adequate supervision; indeed, many are supervised by school administrators who are not trained in counselling (Roberts & Borders, 1994; Sutton & Page, 1994). The American Association of Counselling and Development School Counselling Task Force (1989; now ACA) has declared a need for counselling supervision of practicing school counsellors (hereafter referred to as clinical supervision).

However, there are few studies on the effects of clinical supervision on veteran counsellors of any type (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992) and even fewer on school counsellors.

Research on the effects of clinical supervision on school counsellors is rare (Crutchfield & Borders, 1997; Roberts & Borders, 1994; Sutton & Page, 1994). Just one ongoing clinical supervision program of school counsellors was found in a literature search, but other than informal comments from the participants, the authors did not report formal evaluation findings (Henderson & Lampe, 1992). Two peer group, clinical supervision programs have been described and tested in the literature: Borders' (1991) Systematic Peer Group Supervision and Benshoff and Paisley's (1996) Structured Peer Consultation Model for School Counsellors. When compared with no supervision, the quantitative research findings on both programs were not significant (Crutchfield & Borders, 1997). The counsellor participants in Crutchfield and Borders' (1997) study were...